We were at the Paraiso del Mar from 01/07-01/14/11. We had previously stayed at Iberostar resorts in the DR, and pretty much knew what to expect. We had read reviews on Trip Advisor, so we were aware of some of the positives and negatives.
Here are the positives:
1. The room was very nice, and the minibar was well-stocked. We requested "Coke Light", and that's what we got. We were also traveling with my sister-in-law and her husband. We all agreed that the beds were fine--not too hard and we didn't need any additional tops.
2. The food was excellent. We ate twice at the Mediterranean and once at the Brazilian. The appetizers were definitely the star at the Brazilian, although the meal was fine--we like our meat rarer than they served it. The Mediterranean was great. The bream fish cooked in the salt shell was one of the best dishes I have ever had. The prawns on the appetizer buffet were gigantic and delicious.
3. The buffet was fine. There was a different theme every night. The "Mexican" night was lovely. The four of us agreed the food was very good.
4. The ice cream served in the buffet and at the beach grill was the best ice cream we have ever had. My husband and I gained five pounds just from all the ice cream we had.
5. We had appetizers at the Tapas bar our first night there. It was very nice and very different.
6. The drinks were good. I never had a problem with getting a weak drink, but then again, I know to ask for a double shot. If you think the drink is too weak, just ask them to put more booze in.
7. The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. I enjoyed watching the coatis run around. So cute. The exotic birds were so colorful and raucus. I loved it.
8. The ocean was beautiful, as beautiful as the Caribbean at the Hacienda Dominicus in the DR.
Here are the negatives:
1. This is not a problem with the resort, but rather our personal feelings. When you get off the plane in La Romana or Punta Cana, it is so wonderful to feel that warm air blast you. (We always go in the winter, so we like the contrast from home.) The Cancun airport is basically a big city airport and you don't have that same feeling, since you go through the tunnel to get into the terminal.
2.Paraiso del Mar is very, very large, and in spite of the train and golf carts, I really would not recommend it to anyone who has a problem walking a lot.
3.The rooms are older and could use a little updating, but we spent so little time in the room, this was not a big deal to us. Our TV was ancient, but once again, we did not go there to watch TV.
4. Anyone with children would probably be better off at the Paraiso Beach. We liked the beach at our end of the resort complex, but you really couldn't swim in front of our side. If we wanted to go in the ocean, we had to walk down to the Paraiso Beach. One advantage of where we were (near Dressel Divers) was we never had any trouble getting lounge chairs or umbrellas.
5. This is not a negative of the resort, but rather Mexico in general. We are not big tequila or Kahlua fans. We like the Dominican rum, so we missed bringing home cheap rum, since the prices for rum in Mexico were what we pay at home.
6. IB needs to get a better house wine. It is pretty rot-gut. If you want wine, stick with champagne (which was fine). When we were at the Mediterranean, the waiter actually went and got us a bottle for the table(no extra charge).
7. Again, not the resort's fault, but it did cool down at night. Take a hoodie or light jacket along (we never had to do this in the DR, even in January and February). I was glad I had my jacket most nights.
We took a diving excursion to Cozumel one day, and had a chance to check out the IB resort there. It was nice, but the beach was non-existent. If you wanted to snorkel off the beach, you could swim out from the shore and do that, but do not expect to frolic in the surf.
I would definitely go back again, but I think the IB Hacienda Dominicus is calling us for next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraíso" (Mexico). High standard of comfort. Wide gastronomic variety. 18-hole golf course. PAD/SSI – diving school, massage at the beach and the pool. Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Mexico
- IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico